Missouri Teachers Protest Social Media Crackdown

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  1. TMMason profile image60
    TMMasonposted 11 years ago

    Well if you ask me Teachers should be friending the parents of their students... and not worrying about talking to the students.

    I would think the Teachers would want to talk to the Parents.

    But then again maybe not?...

    ---"COLUMBIA, Mo. –  As they prepare lesson plans for fall, teachers across Missouri have an extra chore before the new school year begins: purging their Facebook friend lists to comply with a new state law that limits their contact with students on social networks.

    The law was proposed after an Associated Press investigation found 87 Missouri teachers had lost their licenses between 2001 and 2005 because of sexual misconduct, some of which involved exchanging explicit online messages with students.

    But many teachers are protesting the new restrictions, complaining the law will hurt their ability to keep in touch with students, whether for classroom purposes, personal problems or even emergencies.

    The new law forbids teachers from having "exclusive access" online with current students or former students who remain minors, meaning any contact on Facebook or other sites must be done in public rather than through private messages.

    Lucinda Lawson, an English teacher at Hartville High School in southern Missouri, expects to purge nearly 80 current and former students from her Facebook account, and she worries that doing so could leave some students vulnerable.

    Private messages give "truly supportive teachers the chance to get help for them when they're in dangerous or compromising situations," Lawson said.

    Lawson once called a state child-abuse hotline after a private online conversation revealed dangerous drug use by a student's adult family member. She encouraged a pregnant teen to remain in school and helped the girl tell her parents. Another student confided that his attendance woes and classroom struggles were caused by the financial and emotional stress of caring for a mentally ill parent."---

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/05/mo … z1UFjaSAd6

    1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      How crazy do you have to be before someone notices that you are crazy? Teachers (and, I am a teacher), should remember their role as educators. It is not to become "best buds" with their students nor is it to become "their way out of a hopeless situation".

      We are so silly, we should remember that the more personal conversation you have with a person the more personal bonding is done. And, let's ask some of our teachers who have been convicted of felony sex offenses with minors how dangerous that is. Let's ask the boys who have murdered husbands because they thought they were in love with their teachers how easy it was to get caught in fantasy lust.

      Besides, something is really wrong with you if you are 32 and cannot de-friend a 14 year old.

    2. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      They are not placing blame where it is due and are not dealing with the problem of sexual misconduct, which is the real issue here. Facebook has nothing to do with that.

    3. IntimatEvolution profile image72
      IntimatEvolutionposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Being from Columbia Mo, with a 16 yr old in the Columbia public school system, this is a good thing.

  2. profile image0
    Sherlock221bposted 11 years ago

    I think it entirely inappropriate for a teacher to have their students added as friends on Facebook or any other social networking site.  They are teachers and therefore in a professional position, which should be one which earns respect.  Students are not "friends" of teachers.  How is a teacher to maintain a position of authority, if they chat with their students in such an informal way?  And if I was a parent, I would be very unhappy knowing that this was happening.  The next stage would be students calling their teachers by their first names, and the whole teacher/student relationship will break down.

  3. calpol25 profile image59
    calpol25posted 11 years ago

    I agree with you sherlock, there is a fine line between the boundaries of professionalism and friendship. They are not paid to befriend their students but too teach them and prepare them for life.

  4. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    They needed a law to solve of the problem of these "geniuses" being too stupid to know how to behave online and/or when interacting with students?  It sure looks to me like the  Missouri school system (and that of any other states with the same "teacher issue") has far bigger problems than whatever goes on, or doesn't go on, on Facebook.

    1. profile image56
      foreignpressposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Facebook and other online social sites were a good idea -- until criminal minds started infiltrating and used the cloak of anonymity to achieve their vulgar ends. Do you really know who you're messaging on Facebook? Not really. And young, trusting minds usually can't discern good from evil. Some teachers are referring monitored internet sites to students for homework help. That has worked so far.

      1. Lisa HW profile image62
        Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Those monitored sites (when schools, teachers, professors (etc.)  have a site where students can go and get the "the latest" that's related to a course) are what should be used.  Heck - Little League coaches and such can/do have similar sites  Facebook may be fine for social purposes (and some people of some ages), and it's fine for business purposes.  Really, I think educators and anyone involved with education (including parents) ought to have the reasoning ability to see that academic matters, as well as anything even at all associated with a student's education, doesn't belong in either the "socializing" or "business" category.

        (It makes me think of those SAT-type questions that have people figure out what's different/similar about a group of items.  As far as I'm concerned, someone in the position of teaching young people ought to have the reasoning ability to be able to ace such questions.  hmm )

        If teachers are using Facebook because they think it's "cool" and "what everyone does these days", it's time they start acting liking leaders, instead of crowd-followers.  Besides, with school supposedly being what helps show kids about the world/life after graduation, I think it might make some sense for teachers to show kids that "the world" and life-in-general is not "all about" Facebook and similar Internet stuff.

        1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
          LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          three thumbs up for you!!! cool

  5. profile image56
    foreignpressposted 11 years ago

    Unfortunately, it has become an even more dangerous world out there. What's to prevent a sexual predator from stealing the identity of a teacher? The list is endless. For thousands of years before Facebook, teachers and students communicated without problems. Teachers taught at set hours and students learned and graduated. If students need extra help at night there are numerous licensed (i.e., monitored) sites designed for that purpose on the internet. This is a good move by Missouri. Hopefully it will be copied by other states.

    1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I am with you Foreignpress

  6. calpol25 profile image59
    calpol25posted 11 years ago

    I agree with you, sexual predators use facebook all the time, having worked for the Crown Prosecution Service here in Britain at least 6 out of 10 child molestation cases have began with the online sources such as Facebook etc.. There needs to be a more thorough way of preventing this. So I do agree with stopping teachers and students from interacting online.

  7. carolejosart profile image60
    carolejosartposted 11 years ago

    if students really benefit from teachers'facebook messaging etc.,then create new space confidential private social media for this purpose.  If a student wishes to confide to their teacher, they most likely have or will use an area much more private than the "internet".  Having said that teachers do need to know how to use or work within new technology used by their students, but not to chat with that is irresponsible.

    1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Absolutely Carolejosart.....

      It is amazing that an educated educator would even fix their mouth to protest.... Wow.

  8. Reality Bytes profile image79
    Reality Bytesposted 11 years ago

    I do not really see a problem if a teacher wants to start a FB account just for student to teacher interaction.  Very possibly a student may ask a question concerning homework on the teachers page and receive a reply.

    I think any page of this sort should be setup simply as a teaching tool.  the teacher should open another account for personal interactions.

    1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It is too easy for a student to form an unnatural attraction to a teacher. And insecure teachers can easily cross the line....

      Did you ever have a crush on a teacher in your school? More than likely you did. Ask yourself how easy it would have been for a relationship to form if that teacher had returned your interest?

      And, every school district has a help line where students can ask questions. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of  internet help.
      It is in the interest of the student that I applaud Missouri

  9. The Suburban Poet profile image84
    The Suburban Poetposted 11 years ago

    Why do they worry having access via Facebook? It's a cop-out. There are other ways to help the kids and the teachers are just whining... they aren't helping themselves in this one....

    1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 11 years agoin reply to this



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